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5 Star moves to 6 Star

News article on Win TV site on Friday 29th April 2011tanks-doug

It's been seven years since the five star energy system was introduced in Victoria, now it's being taken one step further.

"What'll happen for most houses now there has to be either a choice between a solar hot water system, or a water tank connected to laundry/toilet on the side of the house," Doug Bell, from WaterStore Poly Tanks, said.

"Most systems have a tank to toilet system, whereby your rainwater goes and fills the water tank, that then goes and flushes your toilets. So rather than seeing water go down the toilet literally, it's actually free from the sky," Mr Bell said.

A range of measures will also make homes more energy efficient.

"Often you'll have double glazed windows, you'll have larger size water tanks, you'll have increased electrical capacity off the roof. It's a complete range of aspects that makes it much more efficient," Mr Bell said.

In most cases, homes extended by more than 50% must be updated in line with the new ratings.

DSC_2984Ron Threlfall decided it would be easier to buy a new house, with all the mod cons.

"You can come home of a night time and you're freezing cold, but you walk inside and there's still warmth in there, even though the heater ain't going," Mr Threlfall said.

Mr Threlfall has been in his home only three weeks, but says he isn't worried about his next energy bills.

"Our others were getting up around the $400 to $500, and they tell me around the $250 to $300. So let's see how close they are."


Water Restrictions cost 1 Billion per year: Report

Photo supplied by Idea Go

Water restrictions may feel like a thing of the past now with the high rainfall experienced over the last year, but in some areas restrictions (although low) still remain.  An interesting report has just been released by the Productivity Commission that estimates that the recent water restrictions have cost us more than $1 billion per year! 

One of the advantages of putting in poly water tanks is that you are not at the mercy of the large water boards controlling your water use, and in dry times, you have the option to continue using your water. 

Over the last five years, many people have invested in poly water tanks which has reduced the impact of restrictions on them, and given them some certainty with their water usage.

 Photo supplied by Idea Go

Read further about the report released today by the Productivity Commission.

The Productivity Commission estimates that recent water restrictions have cost consumers more than $1 billion per year.

The Commission says most urban water users have faced water restrictions during the past couple of years because of the recent drought.

But Commissioner Wendy Craik says the hosepipe bans and other restrictions come with a considerable cost to consumers.

"You might have to put in a new garden because there are water restrictions, your buildings might crack, you might have to take your car down to the carwash to wash it," she said.

She says there are alternatives, including water trading.  Click here to read more….


Do you really need that tank?

EVERY Melbourne household will have to pay more than $11,000 in water charges in the next 30 years before turning on the tap.

Premier Ted Baillieu yesterday said the contract signed by the former Labor government for the "white elephant" desalination plant couldn't be broken and households would have the red ink on their bills for years.

The Government yesterday said the plant's cost could rise to $23.9 billion - just over $14,000 a household - if the maximum water allocation was used.  Continue reading the article here.


The good news is that I don’t have to pay it. Hmmm or do I?

Ok, I don’t live in Melbourne and I am not connected to any town water supply. But will the Government - Labour or Liberal or Greens really make the populace of Melbourne pay the full costs? Me thinks not. The line will be (if they even tell us) that the pain needs to be shared equally over the populace.

DSC_2985 Now let me tell you my thoughts about that idea. It stinks.

Here I sit in a very small town in Western Victoria, not connected to any town water supply,

I am using a septic tank for sewerage disposal. I do have rubbish collection and I do have electricity supplied. (Just about to install solar power and hot water).

While most of the state went onto water restrictions over the last few years, not me, I have never been short of water. I have 45,000 litres of rain water supply and a garden bore. My garden has remained green and the fresh water tank handles three adults in the house permanently and handles influxes during school holidays and at Christmas. I am thankful I am not connected to any Town water supply, not only do I not have to pay the exorbitant water charges but I GET BETTER WATER. I like my rain water. There is an amazing difference in your tea and coffee, and if you are a water drinker, it’s just great. And there’s no chlorine or fluoride either.

So why don’t I want to help out with the cost of the Desal plant? Because I don’t believe it was necessary or desirable because of:

  1. the cost
  2. ecological concerns
  3. just another crutch for people to lean on
  4. and it WASNT NECESSARY 9000lt plumbed

Let’s look at it a bit. The dams were getting low, well if people of Melbourne didn’t use so much town supply it wouldn’t have got so low? I don’t think imposing restrictions was the answer. The answer is a fundamental change in ideas.

If every house in Melbourne had a water tank connected to the main supply of the house (say 10,000 litre) very few households would use any town supply during winter. Every time it rains, the tanks get water, a 200 square metre house saves approximately 3,500 litres every time 20mm of rain falls - that happens a lot every month in Melbourne and if there was a switch over system (to mains water) as used now in most new homes, it’s an easy system to maintain.

So assume you save all of your water during winter and lot of water during summer in the house.

Gardens are now a lot different from a few years ago. All thinking gardeners are now into water conservation and are much smarter with drought tolerant plantings, but it can be taken further.

There will be another drought, there will be water shortages, so enjoy the lawn but it’s going to die at some stage due to lack of water.

new display pics (4) So I believe you need to take the water supply into your own hands as much as possible.

You can use tanks to run your whole house and for restricted garden supply.

Be like me, green during the drought and make yourself as independent as possible from the government and utilities. It’s great for peace of mind.

Contributed by Alan in Portland.


Autumn 2011 forecast by Kevin Long

9000 litre tanks at bgo school

THE AUTUMN FORECAST In brief: Above-average rain and an early Autumn break.

Looking into Autumn, the lunar cycle has one more peak rain event still to come. It is most likely to occur just after the closest perigee new moon for this 18.6 year cycle, which occurs on 19th March. On the 2nd April the Earth has another close encounter with Saturn. Therefore I conclude there is a very high risk of another flood rain event close to the start of April.

During Winter, the monthly rain totals will trend down as “The Chinese Effect” becomes active again. The Spring ahead should be the most productive one for at least 15 years, although there will also be a very high risk of severe thunderstorms during late Spring and early Summer. The end result for 2011 will be above-average rain building to about 140% of average for Central Victoria. All G-MW reservoirs are likely to produce more floods downstream before the end of Spring.

I hope this information will assist you to plan for the changing seasons ahead.



Regards, Kevin Long

If you would like to read Kevin’s full report, please go here.


Weather Prediction- Kevin Long

All indications are that this year will become one of the 3 or 4 wettest years on record.

Given the current continuing development of La Nina and other other positive sea surface anomalies both to the east and west of Australia rainfall figures in excess of 800mm  are highly likely before the year is out.

I don't expect next year will be as wet as this year but a good winter rain is highly likely next winter.

Solar radiation for the long term future is not looking good for productive rainfall after 2015.

Keep your eye on the website for more details about the declining solar cycles.  These have been the root of the rainfall declines during the last 40 years, together with regional climate change drivers such as The Chinese Effect and the 18.6 year lunar cycle.  

I hope you don't get too flooded to much this year.

Cheers Kevin Long

Click to read more ...

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